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The Cycle

News/Business. Politics, the economy, media, sports and any other issues that grab people's attention. New.

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Egypt 13, Us 9, Washington 6, Jefferson 5, Israel 5, America 4, Phillips 3, Thomas Jefferson 3, Kansas 3, Obama 3, Morsi 3, Susan Rice 3, John Boehner 2, Lindsey Graham 2, John Mccain 2, Campbell 2, Geico 2, Luke 2, Scottrade 2, Tulsa Victoria 2,
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  MSNBC    The Cycle    News/Business. Politics, the economy, media, sports  
   and any other issues that grab people's attention. New.  

    November 26, 2012
    12:00 - 1:00pm PST  

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washington. instead of bills both parties are passing political spin. a gop political phrase like common ground and balanced approach. then there's the always popular promise to stop any job killing small business tax hikes. got to love that one. meantime democrats continue to announce tax hikes. tomorrow senator dick durbin will bill what's major address to lay out the progressive case for a bipartisan deal and later this week the second white house meeting with meetings from both sides of the aisle. joining us is our post tag team bill russert and bloomberg's stephanie ruhle. she rules. unwrap that for us, brother. >> well, they would say the good news is that there has been some movement from senate republicans on the issue of raising taxes.
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lindsey graham, saxby chambless talking about a tax revenue. medicare, medicaid, perhaps we could have some meaningful entitlement reform. that's the good news, that there seems to be this idea that we can work out a big partisan deal. we both know taxes going up. entitlement, benefits going down. however, when we get into the bad news is that while this is all fine and dandy coming out of the cincinnati, toure. the real negotiations are going to happen between president obama and house speaker john boehner. it's a lot different animal than the senate gop conference. so that's the sort of bad news. while we hear a lot of this going forward and it seems to be pos tish, when you get down to
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the nitty-gritty and aides and those chose to president obama, there's not been a lot of movement on the taxive of what to do. republicans don't want to touch that. democrats want that. they feel they have a mandate from the election. that is the issue we said is going to be the linchpin for the last three months. it continues to be there. there is no movement on that. and until there's movement on how to come up with that type of revenue, 250 and above, we're going to keep having the same conversation about ongoing negotiations, talking points from both sides. >> luke russert getting down to the nitty-gritty. stephanie, let's get down to the markets. they put our chances of going over the cliff at about 5%. so why is the market freaking out? >> you know the market always wants to be a bull but it doesn't matter what side of the aisle to sit on you. have to agree we're not working with an efficient government right now and we haven't in a very, very long time. and the market, if you remember, the day after the election
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dropped 300 points. that was the dow. fearing the fiscal cliff approaching. since then it's been very quiet out of washington. we hear a push here arc nudge there, but nothing sizeable is happening. what does the market do, they put their pencils down. we're seeing volume, meaning who's trading. very low ahead of the fiscal cliff. and even though as you mentioned sentiment is that it's very unlikely that we will fall off the cliff, the market as i said, likes to be optimistic. they like to play the bull. and if we do end up falling off the cliff, it doesn't just affect defense spending. corporate ceos across the board are simply not spending money. they're not expanding. you're seeing capital expersondy turs. we could fall into a recession if, in fact, we fall off a cliff. most people don't think we will. we're really seeing no true signs of congress beyond a headline here, a headline there. >> as we've seen in this market
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time and began, what goes down always goes back up when it comes to wall street. even if we do see big drops leading up to a deal. >> absolutely. just today we spoke with a chief strategist this morning on bloomberg who said the stocks look cheap here. you should get ahead of the fiscal cliff, which we're not going to fall off and buy. this is a buying opportunity. but it's a buying opportunity if you're a long-term investor, not a trader. so if you're a day trader, a hedge fund investor, these are very difficult waters to navigate. but if you're a long-term investor -- remember, warren buffett is very bullish on u.s. stocks because he believes in company. this could be a buying opportunity because things have drop add lot. >> well, stephanie, speaking of warren buffett hr, he had an op, sort of laying the idea that the've wealthy would throw a hissy fit, would not invest if
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they were to increase a couple of points. he wrote, so let's forget about the rich and ultra rich going on strike and stuffing their ample funds under their mattresses if, gasp, capital gaines rates and yord nan income rates are increased. the ultra rich, including me, will forever pursue investment opportunities. why is there such a hang-up even to the point that republicans have signals willingness to find revenue in other places as lodge as they do not actually increase the rates? >> i think the hang-up is broader than that. and what mr. buffet is asking for simplicity. as far as investors go, they simply want things to be resolved because again unless there's clarity in the future, you're just not going to see much happening. as i mentioned before, why don't you see more ceos doing more business? there are many who wrote to the president before the election
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begging resolution because until we see action and growth out of these companies, not much is going to happen and when that doesn't happen, there's layoffs, they don't expand and create jobs. we need that. why does the financial community care, they need the companies to be doing business. they need m & a to turn out business for themselves. so it's more we need to know what the clear path is. so when there's uncertainty, no one wants to spend. >> you know, guys, there's another aspect of these discussions that does not get enough attention. the payroll tax cuts are going to expire as well. i sigh a long-term problem looming here. the payroll tax is what funds social security. they did a patchwork job like we'll take money out of the general fund but at a certain point it seems like you've got to put this rate back to 6.2% to keep social security funded, otherwise there ee going to be a
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long-term funding issue. yet every time it comes up, one party is going to be blamed for raising taxes on the middle class, going from 4.2% to 6.2%, would be like a thousand. stephanie, i wonder, can you envision a scenario where both parties come to a point and say, your pay troll tax is going back to 6.2%? >> in the foreseeable future it doesn't seem that both parties can come to an agreement. from a capital market perspective, they need some sort of resolution and clarity to move forward and it's not just what they have right now and that's what's really essential to the markets and that's what's going to create confidence. this entire year even though we've seen s&p has had a very good ride, they lack it. you're very unlikely to see anyone in the capital markets go all in. and you also have to remember with interest rates as low as they are, for institutional investors and for pension funds, this is very difficult.
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they need to have these steady returns in order to fulfill their pension fund obligations. and in the current environmental it's very difficult do that. >> luke, susan del percio here. i'm wonder wag do we see politically happening? last year we knew the republican party as the party of no. what's the way to become a party of yes and what will the democrats most likely have to give up to get us there? >>. >> a big deal. a big grand bargain that could put the country on sound fiscal feet for a long time. i believe it would have to -- in order for republicans to say yes to agree to a tax increase it would have do with medicare. during negotiations, president obama, it was reported, he agreed to raising medicare from 65 to 67. medicare is something that both sides will acknowledge if you do not do anything does not become sol vent within 12 years so that is something that if president obama were to give on medicare,
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perhaps raise the age, means testing, different types of benefits, perhaps some on medicaid, john boehner could go back to his conference and say, look, a democratic president is willing to put his neck out, he's going to anger a ton of very important constituencies with the left of the country, we can meet him here on the tax cuts to the wealthy. if you look at polling supporting those, being eliminated if $250 or a above. i know the gop would not waste the opportunity to take advantage of it. >> i can pipe in and say from the markets perspective, one thing that they're really hoping from the president even though mitt romney got so much more support from wall street is that now in obama 2.0 he really will be more focused on his legacy, not getting re-elected and not answering to his most significant supportering and they're hoping he'll reach across the aisle and focus on his legacy and really creating some sort of compromise, which if you look at the last year we
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saw so little compromise out of d.c. because it was all about an election. >> i think that's right. hoe even he can speak to his legacy and most ardent supporters. luke, stephanie, thank you very much. up next, it's the technology that has rewritten the rules of war, but is it time for drone rule book? we will next. the cycle rolls on for november, november 26th. ♪ i'd like to thank eating right, whole grain, multigrain cheerios! mom, are those my jeans? [ female announcer ] people who choose more whole grain tend to weigh less than those who don't. multigrain cheerios try this... bayer? this isn't just a headache. trust me, this is new bayer migraine. [ male announcer ] it's the power of aspirin plus more in a triple action formula to relieve your tough migraines.
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>> they're once again buzzing about the unma'amed drones. it's about white housests before the election to try to clarify the rules on proper use of drone strikes. there have been more than 300 strikes conducted in pack stab by the cia under president obama. the times report a debate remains whether drones should be an absolute last resort or an option with more flexible uses. according to critics, they have been flexible enough accusing the white house of ignoring international law on the subject. let'sit this all through the spin cycle. and a couple of things here. as a liberal i am sort of troubled by how much we use drones and in particular the lack of transparency here. we really don't know exactly what's going on. but i will say this. one aspect i think that's not brought up is there is an actual moral case to be used for drones, which is this. because of the nature of the ins
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strument, you can actually be more targeted than other options and studies show there is actually less collateral damage from the use of drones than from other options. there was a study that showed, you know, the proportion of civilian deaths is between 4% and 20%. for drone use. comparable tactics, more like 46%. so there is a moral case to be made there also we shouldn't underestimate our men and women are out of harm's way. and there are lots of charges about liberal hypocrisy. i will say this and basically is this. liberals were very outspoken under the bush years, not so much under obama. ly say this. the drone rule book really underscores there's a lot of executive privilege within the use of drones so it does make sense as a liberal you would be
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more comfortable with president obama making those decisions rather than president bush. >> i think your last point is smart but i don't think there's a moral case that fits one nation. we go to war more often or we use them more often. i hardly ever would quote general robert e. lee but he talks about it's good that war is so terrible or you would grow too fond of it if there's not this human cost of putting bodies add risk and lives at risk and the country weeping and being afraid of that, you would go to war too often. the problem with robotic warfare is it's to easy to send these robots out and create these war-like situations when we detach brutality from humanity, it makes violence that much easier to order up. and so it gets more war in the long run and that is not the moral direction we want. as liberals.
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we don't want done wars but don't want war at all where it ever can be avoided. the drone program is perhaps my largest criticism of obama, my largest problem with obama. i didn't like it when bush was doing it. so i don't like obama doing it. i like the hand on the steering wheel better than before. i don't like us being at war but i would like less war in general. >> you have to remember this isn't better moral code. these are drones that are actually machinery for war. that's what they are, weapons for war and if we want to keep going forward we're going to have look at how they're being used. the fact is no one knows what really happens until you're in that chair and i find it unbelievable that the obama administration would even propose writing a rule book because they've continued more of the bush policies than they thought they would. >> yeah. >> absolutely. i don't know where they get off thinking they're the ones to
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have the moral high ground. >> the idea that they're pushing here, though, the idea behind this rule book was basically i what crystal was saying. we're comfortable making these decisions ourselves, makes these arbitrary and objective decisions ourselves. the bigger problem that i think we're ignoring here is that this isn't written anywhere that the president has this power. this is authority that bush asserted. this is authority that obama has asserted and i think there's legitimate grounds for debate of how much power the president has to order it. there's ledge migitimaclegitima. the strategy was to get the local population on our side. well, now you're dropping all these bombs. do you have significant civilian deaths. there's dispute how many there
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actually are. part of the problem is there's an accounts issue where we say where we drop one, it's automatically -- there's a lot of accounting issues here. the big thing is it creates -- we have a kill list. it keeps growing as the number of attacks keep growing and we're creating more and more enemies through this. we go and kill them and there's new people on the list. >> that's not a partisan issue. to crystal's point, feeling more comfortable with president obama than president romney or bush, it's the same general making the recommendations. >> sure. but let's let the commander in chief make the recommendations. >> but they're following their recommendations. >> but there was a tradition as recently as ten years ago when president bush was president. the bush administration actually con determined countries who engaged in it because they realized other countries are doing it and others. it sets a precedent for others.
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>> i think that is another aspect of the rule book, not only setting our country for other rule leaders but for the world to say this is how we operate. i think one of the big problems for me is the extra judicial killings but also the lack of transparency here. but you know, thing we have to be lis tick about the fact. there was one question, the lack of the human toll on our side. i don't think that the fact that we've had two few soldiers killed is the problem right now in this conflict. that's one thing. i also think, you know, the larger question is are we going to be going after terrorists in this targets way? if we are, drone attacks are the most precise way to do it. >> but it's not precise and we know that. >> it's not precise but it's the best possible tactic that we have now is what i'm saying. >> you're killing lots of civilians along with militants. >> we would with another tactic. all right, straight ahead, crisis in egypt.
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the key players met this afternoon. are the president and top judges any closer to a deal to calm clashes in cairo? and why does what happened there matter here? that's next. with the spark cash card from capital one, sven gets great rewards for his small business! how does this thing work? oh, i like it! [ garth ] sven's small business earns 2% cash back on every purchase, every day! woo-hoo!!! so that's ten security gators, right? put them on my spark card! why settle for less? testing hot tar... great businesses deserve great rewards! [ male announcer ] the spark business card from capital one. choose unlimited rewards with 2% cash back or double miles on every purchase, every day! what's in your wallet? here's your invoice. campbell's has 24 new soups that will make it drop over, and over again. ♪ from jammin' jerk chicken, to creamy gouda bisque. see what's new from campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do. constipated? yeah. mm.
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in a meeting with top judge this afternoon, egypt's president stood by his recent decrees, but he did assure the judges that those decrees would not infringe on the judiciary. this is on the eve of what's expected to be another day of opposition protests. this all started on thursday while you and i were giving thanks, carving turkey and eating candied yams. he was put far out of reach by any oversight including courts. that set a move of protests. government officials are scrambling to establish a power
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structure and it's deadlock, blocking needed reforms. all of this raises questioning about egypt's future. in the guest spot today, proffers of middle eastern politics and national relations. he's also the author of "obama in the middle east:end of america's moment." let's start with the roots of the decree. what is it that he wants do that the courts won't let him do? >> there's the question of the trial of the old regime, mubarak and his sons and the inner circle. he went far beyond finding an arrangement to retry some of the elements of the old regime. he anointed himself the supreme leader with absolute authority.
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there was no oversight. there is no authority in egypt now. he can override any decision that has been made by morsi and that will be made by morsi. in a way, he is trying to create an imperial rpresidency, an imperial presidency that basically anoints morsi as the supreme lead over egypt, period. he monstrously miscalculated. he has thrown egypt into a political and constitutional crisis. he has finally succeeded in unifying the fractured opposition. now not just the liberals and the nationalists and the leftists. millions of egyptians are outraged in morsi addressing his own office of absolute authority. >> that's the question i have though. this has sparked massive protests as we can see. he is now -- you know, he's standing his ground but he also seems to be giving a little ground. is there cause in your view, maybe from our viewpoint, western standpoint, to take a
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step back and let this play out a little bit before cle clairing egypt's great democracy is over. is there a chance that by the owned the day there will be a resolution and could maybe strengthen democracy? >> i have no doubt in my mind that this is an egyptian crisis. egyptians must take ownership of their country. they are taking ownership of their country. one of the lessons we have learned in the last few days is that morsi will not be allowed to basically hijack the democratic process. regardless of his motivations, we do not know his motivations. believe that his overall a very pragmatic leader. what he has done undermines the very foundation of the democratic process. rule of laurks separation of power and basically accountability. egyptians are taking him to task. today many who are protesting him tomorrow will protesting. they say it's not just enough
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for him to amend the decree. he must scrap the decree. that's the testament to the spirit of resistance that egypt is alive and this is to myself it's a hopeful lesson and i ho even that the united states has already made its voice heard. i think the obama administration has taken just rew right decision. they're concerned about the authoritarian practices the president morsi who supposed to be a friend of the free world and the united states as well. >> but this has also been a very interesting political lesson for him too and i'm wondering as he's fighting for power and if he is able to concede and work out some kind of deal, how strong will he be going forward? i mean will he see a lot of pushback within the country. >> that's what i said. i really believe that he miscalculated monstrously. he underestimated the resilience of the egyptian people.
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he has skpafted damage on his office and himself. he has rereceived suspicion. all suspicions of the muslim brotherhood. the egyptians on the whole are terrified, that they're trying to run away with it. trying to create the mubarak presidency. that's exactly what mubarak did. mubarak said, i want to transform egypt. morsi is saying, well, i'm a good man. i'm a democrat, but allow me to do what i believe is the right track. egyptians are saying, no, you must maintain the institutions, checks and balances. this is what democracy is all about. >> what does this do to israel and to the united states? >> well, look. i mean we -- let's not -- you know egypt is the most important arab state, the first state to sign a peace treaty with israel in the 1970s. egypt is a major, major ally of the united states, not vis-a-vis just israel but also in the
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broader middle east as well. it affects not just egypt but the neighborhood as well. egypt played a critical role this brokering a truce between hamas and israel. hamas looks up to morsi. hamas listens them. even israel, i would argue, recognize the frounld invasion of hamas because egypt is a pivotal player and because the peace treaty was on line. that's why what happens in egypt not only affects egyptians, it affects the neighborhood and egypt relation with the person powers. in particular it affects them in the middle east and rain world. >> right now a 100-constituent assembly is working on drafting a constitution in egypt. liberals and christians walked out. so basically it's being run by islamists now.
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some have said part of president morsi's calculations would be fears that there would be a challenge to the legal constitution and taking the powers is a way f o short circuiting those. what can we expect to see in the constitution once it's complete? >> i mean this is really very, very important question because you earlier one of your colleagues asked me why did morsi do it. remember, morsi did it -- the reason why he wanted to invest his office was absolute authority because he wants to make sure that the constitution that basically arises will not override. the draft, the committee that's supposed to draft the constitution is dominated by supporters of morsi. literally islamics -- i'm not suggesting that islamics are better or good but national lists, leftists, women, human rights activists are very critical of the dominant
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islamics. it will not with as inclusive, it will not enshrine the rule of law, it will not enshrine basically the equality of man and woman and raise many questions about the democratic process in egypt itself. and that's why what's happening in egypt today is not just about morsi's authority but it's about what kind of constitution this committee will basically produce. this really goes to the very heart of the power struggle that we're seeing in egypt. it's between an inclusive constitution, democratic constitution, versus an exclusive and less liberal leaning constitution. >> all right. a cautionary tale here. you never know exactly what you're going to get. you remember the character or morsi. i don't think whaufr you make of all this saw that. anyway, fawaz gerges, thanks for
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joining us. up next, the weird, the wacky, and the downright horrifying. with ee going to look back at america's busiest shopping weekend. [ male announcer ] at scottrade,
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well, on this cyber monday you might see a deal. today the white house released a report on middle-class tax cuts and consumer spending. it argues fakure to extend tax cuts to those making less than $250,000 a year would slash $200 billion from the economy. if families pay more in taxes they will spend less which will cut the gdp growth. so congress, are you feeling the pressure yet? this is the perfect example of what i like to call press release politics.
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let's backspin. we see this everiee. the atm tax is going to get a patch. we know we're going to see benefits given to our -- unemployment benefits given and veteran benefits gimp. it seems like this year we have a nice new fun name. i know you hate it steesh, but the fiscal cliff. we put that scary name on it as if that's going to motivate our elected officials. all i see is a press release them saying they're going to fight for us and until the end of the day they're not going to do anything until we see a nice countdown clock. >> as per zblushl but the republicans need that clock more than the democrats do, don't they? >> they do. the fact is we need to find a path way to yes and i think the sooner we do it the better it is politically to move off. >> yeah. no. i mean i was just going to say, republicans -- the problem here for republicans is they're trying to get off this 22-year rae fusal to raise taxes, and think to cut any kind of a deal,
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they almost -- even if the deal -- the parameters are in place they have to go to the very edge. we held out as lodge as we could, all of those things. i don't know why you think gradual fiscal cliff is a fun term. >> steve's book of fun terms. >> i'd like to read that. >> moving on to other fun things, look it. black friday was a few days ago. the christmas shopping season's officially upon us. i don't particularly care for black friday. i refuse to go in a store. >> not a big shopper? >> shock ily. one of the reasons i don't go in stores is because of what happened in kansas? i think this is kansas here. this is lingerie. this is victoria's secret, lingerie in the oak park mall in kansas. how would you like to be in the middle of that, trying to calm that crowd down. there's another one. it happened somewhere else. >> forever 21 bag. >> it just reminds me. >> your favorite store? >> i like it.
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>> there's tulsa. that's the tulsa victoria's secret. so, yeah, friday i just kind of slept in. i'm glad i wasn't at the tulsa victoria's secret. >> i feel like i've heard a lot of trashing of black friday shoppers and i want to stand up for black friday shoppers. it is america, and if you want to spend three days waiting in line to swarm victoria's secret, that is your right. it's one of the great traditions like punkin chunkin, hot dog eating contests, fright butter, the corn palace. they're great american traditions. especially for a great deal. >> if you're wondering, the role of spokeswoman of red state america is chrkrystal ball.
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>> i was home in virginia over thanksgiving so it may have rubbed off. >> i want to really and truly stand up for people shopping on black friday because there are two kinds of shoppers. you don't need that. people who are suffering in the recession who need these discounts to be able to get through the holiday season. they've got to take care of their family, they've got to take care of their kids and this is allowing them do that. some of these stampede scenes i've seen really make me feel sad bus it puts into sort of literal vision the depth of despair, they need these discounts to be able to take kay of their families for the holidays. >> that's why i have such conflicted feelings about it. we need the money that's generated. we need fit tr economy. yes, you're right. for the working poor in this country, it's a group that's bigger than ever thanks to the big recession and needs good deals on things. but the flip side is to have these stores open on friday or
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thursday, you're taking other members of the working poor and taking them away from their families and saying because the store down the street is open, we've got to be open, you've got dom in, walmart, with ee going to give you bad hours the rest of the year and make you come in on thursday and friday. like you i skipped black friday and monday but small business saturday i was there. up next he's one of america's favorite founding fathers but did thomas jeff eson have a dark side? the author behind a new book generating controversy joins us next. oh no, not that, not here! [ male announcer ] antacids don't relieve gas. gas-x is designed to relieve gas. gas-x. the gas xperts.
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from stouffer's. he embodied the worst and best all in one remark frame in one remarkable life so long ago. >> that was jon meacham on our show talking about thomas jefferson who's so hot right now that there's not one but two books about him. i'm sure there's two books coming along soon. but where jon meacham's book is getting raves, another is getting mixed reviews. it's been called brilliant and a train wreck. "m "master of the mountain condition thomas jefferson and his slaves." he suddenly stopped fighting against slavery.
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wiencek said he wavered when he realized how valuable it was. joining us now henry henry win sec. he fought for many years but changed when he realized the financial gain that he had for having slaves borning s born o property. >> he did lielz but in his younger years he thought of slavery purely in terms of a slave's labor. but in the 1780s and especially in the 1790s he began to realize that the slaves themselves were capital assets and he began to count the birth rate very carefully, and that really began to change his thinking about how
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slaves were valuable. >> then he moved away from being an abolitionist. how did sally hemming change r shape his feelings about slavery? >> well, that's a very interesting and very puzzling question because i assumed that his relationship with sally hemmings would have softened niz attitudes toward all black people but that relationship didn't. if anything his thoughts about black people hardened. i mean through the rest of his life he referred to them as incompetent like children. at one point he said they were suited like mules only for manual labor. this is actually very, very surprising. >> but your book has received some criticism. historian annette gordon read wrote he loathes thomasever sop. the problems with master of the mountain are too numerous to
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allow it to be taken seriously as a book that tells us anything new about thomas jefferson and slavery, and what it does say is it's a book about henry wiencek with jefferson, enslaved people and the mountain thrown into slavery. she has -- her argument really is not with me but with mr. jefferson because what i did was simply to quote documents that she and other leading jefferson historians preferred to ignore. i brought them before the public. they're startling. they're ugly. they change our view of jefferson. i didn't like it when i found it. i didn't like writing about it. but there it is. and i can answer her question about loathing jefferson. i certainly don't loathe the man who wrote the declaration of independence. >> yeah, you know, henry, the basic issue of how do you grapple with major historical figure, a founder of the country
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who also, you know, sort of promoted in his own way slavery. you know, these perpetuated in his own way. how do you grapple with it from a historical legacy that's not unique to jefferson? obviously you're looking at jefferson and slavery and a har judgment but that's not a judgment you have drawn about other founders who own slaves. i'm thinking about george washington in particular. i wonder from the standpoint of looking back from today what would a slave owning founding father or what did a slave owning founding father have to do to get a favorable sort of legacy today historically? >> well, i'm not really judging those people by my standards or our standards. i try to judge them by the standards of the time, and it's a good thing to bring up george washington because, as you said, george washington freed his slaves and he actually struggled for ten years to try to find a way to do it. and he actually proposed to a relative that they free all the slaves at mt. vernon by setting
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them free and then hiring them right back as free people. so, you know, washington didn't have any problems with doing that and he also never thought that -- never said that black people were inferior. jefferson said that, and i don't think that he actually believed it because he was surrounded by slaves who were extremely competent who supported him in a very, very lavish lifestyle. and also many people of that time begged jefferson to get in front of the emancipation effort and lead it. so -- and i quote a number of those people from that time and place. >> henry, i got to tell you you're stomping on my home turf. i'm a university of virginia graduate. i'm surprised they let you within the boundaries of charlottesville -- >> we still believe in free speech down here. >> good to hear. what is your sort of big picture takeaway. you said you were -- i read where you were sort of very distressed as you discovered these new documents.
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you just said that you didn't enjoy writing about it, but what is your big takeaway. how do you view jefferson now? >> well, with some disillusionment because i always thought of him as a crusader for universal rights who was, unfortunately, stuck in slavery, but he wasn't stuck in it. he modernized it, he made it fit into a developing nation because he saw that slavery provided the fuel for the burgeoning american economy. slave labor provided $30 million in exports every year in the 1780s, and the country needed that money. when jefferson built monticello, he took out, unfortunately, a slave equity loan. he borrowed $2,000 against 150 slaves from a dutch bank. he was a pioneer in finding ways to turn slavery into cash. it's not a very happy story, but it's right there. >> all right. >> in the documents. >> henry, thank you very much.
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let me just make that point, john, because we're not campaigning anymore. the election is over. >> i'm reminded of that every day. >> yeah. >> john mccain is a drowning man grabbing desperately onto anything he thinks can help save him. he's still bitter he lost in '08 and now his time as a powerful
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senator is waning. he sees benghazi as a life raft that he can cling to. he will be forced to leave the senate armed forces committee. in benghazi he hoped he would find the scandal that would embarrass obama and allow the creation of a new committee that would investigate benghazi with him as a leader. but instead of pursuing reasonable questions about consulate security, he fixated on a conspiracy about a pre-election cover-up and attacked susan rice as incompetent and unqualified. >> if this select committee if appointed clears her of any wrongdoing besides not being very bright because it was obvious that this was not a, quote, flash mob -- >> susan rice, by the way, is rhodes scholar.
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madeleine albright has said she's one of the smartest people i know on national security. there's report backing up claims ambassador rice just delivered the message that she received from our intelligence community. cbs news reports the points were not edited to minimize the role of extremists, diminish terrorist afill yags or play down that this was an yak. the intelligence community opted to leave specific reference to al qaeda and terrorism out of her presentation because they didn't want al qaeda to know that we knew what we knew. this is classic investigative philosophy. don't let the suspects know you suspect them. it's clear to me there was no mendacity by susan rice, no incompetence, there was no cover-up by the white house. to continue to argue there was any of that is now tin foil hat stuff. there is also now no will to filibuster to block rice. this is perhaps why john mccain has softened his tone. >> but you're saying that she could conceivably get your vote for secretary of state? >> i think she deserves the
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ability and the opportunity to explain herself and her position just as she said, but she's not the problem. the problem is the president of the united states. >> that's an end, i hope, to the vicious and baseless character attack that has made rice the center of a witch hunt by the right even though she has done nothing to disqualify herself. mccain tried to make her unnominatable but made it so obama will look weak if he doesn't nominate her. he asserted an inappropriate political cover-up. he also gave us the horrible optics of he and lindsey graham as old white establishment folks wrongly and repeatedly attacking a much younger black woman moments after an election in which blacks and women went strongly blue. looks like the gop is already laying the foundation for losing in 2016. i leave it to you to decide how much of the tarring of rice as incompetent and unqualified is about the myth of black inferiority and female
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inferiority and how much is about mccain flailing at anyone's in arm's reach desperate for a dingy as he feels himself sinking. as opposed to the career of martin bashir which is only rising up and up. >> it's november the 26th, and republicans signal they're willing to concede they will now accept mitt romney's tax plan. happy holidays indeed. >> it is not about that pledge. >> marriages don't work when one or both parties stand on both sides of the fence and say, i'm not budging. >> i will violate the pledge. >> i'm not obligated on the pledge. >> i care more about this country than i do about a 20-year-old pledge. >> i haven't talked to grover norquist so i don't know. >> we have had some people